I'll second that. I also work for a large bank, and about a year ago we went through a training program to bring us into compliance with recent amendments to the Bank Secrecy Act (so named, I imagine, to be confused with bank secrecy). Topics included common illegal financial practices and how to detect them, and reporting requirements that our back office must fulfill on a regular basis (e.g. check customer names against government watch lists, etc.). The only thing particularly creepy that I found in all this was that tellers can't tell customers that a suspicious activity report is being filed on them (as opposed to a currency transaction report, of which the customer is aware on account of all the nosey questions I have to ask him).
I'd be curious to see where the GP got the $3,000.00 reporting figure. As far as I know, tellers only have to file a currency transaction report for transactions in excess of $10,000.00. Tellers are also required to look out for people who look like they're structuring their deposits to fly under the CTR requirements, who are sending a lot of wires, who are buying or depositing large sequences of negotiables (money orders, travelers' checks, etc.), or who just say the wrong thing. I don't think this is all bad--the kid in this article got nabbed because a bank teller was paying attention and noticed behavior consistent with illegal activity (as others have noted, he could also have been profiting from human or drug trafficking). In a similar vein, we've also just gone through a training program to identify and intervene in cases of potential elder abuse. It's now my job to question suspicious transactions made by our elderly customers, and report situations were I think someone is taking advantage of the customer. Some people may think that we're overstepping our bounds (I've gotten some angry remarks when asking people about their withdrawals), but since tellers are the ones in contact with customers, they have a lot of opportunity to prevent abuse (or fraud, or money laundering). The elderly abuse reporting is in response to a recent California law, but it's my company's policy to enforce the same reporting requirements in of the states in which we operate.